tv Washington Journal Scott Pattison Discusses Top Issues Facing Governors CSPAN September 14, 2017 8:02am-8:37am EDT
industry needs in the way of transportation options, and the other things we can do just for the revitalization of this critical part of our economy. so i think that is really one of the major ones. one of the things i am working on down here that relates to the economy generally is broadband access, rural states, which maine is one, it is a real problem if you do not have it. you do not have broadband service in a small community or a rural area, you will not be able to start a business or run a business, not able to track new citizens, new residents. so that is a huge problem that i am working on down here. i have people in maine working on it, working with the state and the federal government. a lot of these problems have to involve everybody. everybody is on deck in order to solve these problems. it is not a federal solution or state solution or local solution. usually it is a combination.
>> senator king, thank you so much for your time. >> "washington journal" continues. with scott back pattison, ceo and executive director of the national governors association, here to talk about the top issues facing states in the country. that is our question for all of you. what are the top issues in your states? we want you to call in and let us know while we talk to scott pattison. remind the viewers with the national governors association is and what their mission is. guest: it was asked was started by president theodore roosevelt, because he was a governor from new york and became president. he said the governor's need to parties,her, of both and share information to all the states know what other states are doing, good and bad here it and very important, critical right now, is making sure that the administration and congress, whoever is in power knows how states are going to be impacted
by the things they do. of course, with health care and some of these other big issues going on, it is critical that governors of both parties are talking to members of congress, senators, and the administration so that there is an understanding of the impact on a state. host: we will talk about that, coming up. who are the leaders of the national governors association? guest: right now, the chair is brian sandoval of nevada. he is republican. then we have the governor of ,ontana coming in, a democrat and he's vice chair here at we have governors from all over the country if both parties on our board. host: we want to hear from our of the topd one issues in your state is part of what c-span does as it travels around the country for our 50 capitals tour, going to each state capital in all 50 states. you are to come aboard the bus
when we come to a capital near you and experience c-span. you can get a feel for what is happening in washington by interacting with screens and things like that. for our viewers who are thinking about what is going on in their states, what are the governors saying about the top issues? guest: i have to say, i really have to praise c-span because we're so delighted you are doing that. so much is happening in the states. there is a much focus on in action at the federal level, and it is terrific that you are talking about the states. i would say the priorities right now for governors are things like disaster and emergency preparedness. recently,e hurricanes of course, but you have flooding in the southeast, fires across the west, all kinds of issues they have to deal with. the other priority is dealing with this really bad opioid crisis that so many families are
affected by. but the number one consistent priority for governors right now is economic policy, jobs. host: let's start with the emergency relief disaster preparedness questions about this. i have a couple articles here this is from "usa today" about harvey damage, estimated to be up to $160 billion. what does that mean for a state? guest: it is really significant. one thing we try to explain to members of congress and the administration, i think the average innocent -- citizen needs to understand is that states do not have the same level of resources that a national federal government has. we cannot control our currency or interest rates or any types of economic policy or things like that. so we're less resourced than other governments, so we often have to explain that when there is such a scene of the disaster, coming inl government
and assisting with resources is really critical. host: the house and the senate and the president approving $15 billion in disaster aid for harvey victims just last week. do you expect more to come? guest: yes, usually when the disasters are so significant, while the states and the private sector, like the red cross, try to step in, it is simply not enough resources. so we do expect some continued really good collaboration between the federal government and the states affected. and they really tried to catalog your needs, and then the federal government provides the resources and hopefully gets people quickly back into their homes and starts to reconstruct. host: one need is removal of trash. houston tackles storms, mountains of trash. the mayor of houston says it is his number one priority. the solid waste management department needs to a park on an
urgent effort to clear the debris field measuring eight million cubic yards. the cost of debris removal and he still will -- in houston will total more than $200 million. the federal emergency management agency will have the rest of the cost. talk about the role of the states. and states have been pleased with the collaboration between the federal government and state governments and local governments over the last few years. most these hurricanes have demonstrated that are there has been good governmental cooperation. ever since the unfortunate aspects of what happened during katrina many years ago, a lot of lessons were learned in the national governors association, and we have worked hard to make sure there's a lot of talking between the federal government and states before the disaster occurs so we are all ready. i think we have seen evidence of that in these two disasters. host: you brought up the opioid
situation, some call it a crisis. two states want the president to declare some sort of emergency? states want the president to declare some sort of emergency? guest: i think what it really comes down to is states want to make sure there is an enormous amount of cooperation between the federal government and states and local governments to deal with this. there have been some, but i think we really need to continue to do whatever we can unt. down, whereaths go not seeing the results that are wanted. host: what are governors doing? are they spending tax money on the state level to address the issue? guest: they are. it is interesting. it is a real high priority for governors. virtually every governors and a compact last year to ensure collaboration among the states
and other actions to try to get the death rate down. i think it is important to tell people that governors themselves really have an emotional and personal connection -- every one of them as people who have actually died or who have had sons or daughters die, and it has really motivated them to act. host: let's hear what our voters have to say. what other top issues in your state? gabrielle is a republican in apex, north carolina. l is a republican. c-span, because this is one of the last main strongholds news. thank you, governor, for being here today. i have a couple things -- [indiscernible] can you hear me? host: you were breaking up a little bit, but go ahead. ourer: roy cooper is governor here, and i think i go
the sentiment -- i echo the cement of the opioid crisis being out of control. two weeks ago, a young man at a church that i go to experienced an overdose. ios 8 for he did not die, but it was very close. in essence, that is a major problem. i am interested to hear from , about the role to the actual pharmaceutical their marketing, and we know physicians play a role in starting this medication or getting them on track to were sometimes they become dependent on the medications, but don't the pharmaceutical companies have a big republican-led -- herea big responsibility for the way they market? this second point is that i think there is a lot of governors, republican governors,
and i have to say this because it is from my own party, they say that the federal government cannot do anything right, but when disaster strikes, they come with their hands held out asking just like the situation down and texas right now. host: ok, we will leave it there. the c-span bus is coming to north carolina in january. you can follow along if you go to our website, c-span.org. clarification, scott pattison is not a governor. he is the ceo and executive director of the national governors association. what is your thought on that sentiment, governors asking the federal government for help? there is artunately, lot of coverage of different types of actions. when it comes down to from a governor's standpoint, they are running a state that is similar joining a huge fortune 500 company. from the to get away
politics. unfortunately, there has been some focus on the politics with disaster recovery. bottom line for them as they see everything as a collaborative effort. they do put millions of dollars into disaster preparedness and recovery. but there really does have to be this interaction and collaboration and cooperation with the federal government. states are more limited in the amount of resources they have. cap,imply have kind of a only so much money they have for us is the national government, -- and therely really needs to be that understanding that when the states only have a certain amount, the federal government has to come in. host: the senate health education labor pensions committee has been holding hearings looking at what washington can do for the individual insurance markets and the cost of premiums. they heard from governors last week. i want to show you what a few of
them told lawmakers on that committee. [video clip] >> i think we have to begin to align incentives. some have talked about reform on the provider's site. thehave to do something on users side, as well, to incentivize better behavioral choices. i tell people all the time that health care is like going to the grocery store and the assistant manager meets you when you walk in the door. you walk up and down the aisles, and you get to the cash register and they say thank you very much. you can see how we got where we are. aligning incentives would be where i would start. -- i largelyy agree that we need to move from paying just for repeated services. tennessee has done it, montana, comprehensive primary care plus reform. we did it through the center for innovation. as you go forward, don't mess with things like that. trying to do some good work already in payment reform,
starting to look at care coordination, which did not always exist. >> to build on what my colleagues have already said, i would just add to that that the transparency issue has been discussed before. there is a lot of variation, let's just leave it at that, not just how care is delivered but how it is paid for it. there is this whole issue around involves anat approach to providing care in terms of circumstances and outcomes. there is a lot of research on that and not a lot of it finds its way into daily practice. that would be a great place, i think, for, frankly, the federal government to actually take the lead. you have a lot of resources and knowledge and a lot of opportunity. of the nation's
governors and washington last week telling lawmakers what they would like to see happen when it comes to health care. scott pattison, what is happening across the states? what are they telling washington that they need fixed? guest: at the governor level, you are seeing a bipartisan effort to try to inform this health care debate. i am proud that when you take governors on capitol hill, democrats and republicans stick together. they do not divide up, and they talk to members of congress and senators and administration officials. what governors really want is they want to get away from some of the politics. frankly, it is really toxic or they really want to focus on making the changes we need to make to get the results we want. do we want people covered? atwe want more flexibility the state level? there is a variation what you might get in minnesota will be different than california are massachusetts hear it governors really want to make sure that there is that flexibility, but
also that we are focused on the results that we want. do we want to decrease infant mattel it he? give states the resources to do that. sam is in st. paul, minnesota, independent. i want to talk about the way you are addressing the opiates, the so-called opiate crisis. it is the same way they addressed alcohol with prohibition. it did not work than. there were people addicted to alcohol and overdoses on alcohol or moving from alcohol to other drugs. it is not going to work. what do yougetting, call it, under a pain doctor for years. i am not addicted. i have never been addicted to alcohol. i have never taken marijuana. but right now, he is getting antsy because the pressure is on
him to be suspicious. ,f you want to keep doing this it is not going to work. all you do is make people go on to the streets to get it from illegal sources, and you will not have any control over the quality of the medicine they will take or even the quantity. you will increase the problem rather than reduce it. i am surprised no one understands that, including the medical community. go back to prohibition and take that example for a lesson. you see opioids as a problem in the state of minnesota? caller: i don't know. i do not overdose on it. i do not take it illegally. i do not go to the streets and try and get it. host: ok, let's turn to scott pattison. tell us what the problem looks like a cross the states? guest: it is really significant.
the numbers are quite scary. the massive increase in overdoses and opioid actual deaths. the caller is right, there is a variation am a sometimes it is legal, sometimes things like heroin that is illegal. one thing i have seen, and the bus tour shows it in the state capitals, that when you have a problem like this, the effort is focused on what does work. i am glad he brought that up. what you see governors try to do is just say, you know, let's try to not get into a political debate and try to figure out what works. what are the factors causing the addiction? look at the supply. look at every aspect. i know we had a meeting with the cdc a few months ago in which we had governors and health care officials go down to atlanta and meet and rolled their sleeves up to see how to fix the problem. it really is serious. host: michael is in grand
rapids, michigan, a democrat. caller: technical question. i was surprised to hear that you are not a governor yourself that you are the chair. i would like to know how that works out. host: he is the ceo and executive director. they have two chairs, one republican and one democratic governor. caller: ok, he is not a governor himself? host: nope. caller: my question still is, how did he become the ceo? no governorship. is, does heestion belong to alec? host: talk about alec. guest: the american legislative exchange council is a membership organization of state legislators. the governors are on the executive branch site and do not belong to alec for that reason.
the way the national governors association works and has since the early 1900's when to a roosevelt got the governors together was that the organization is run by governors, so the chair and vice chair and the board members, and they hire someone like me to manage on a day-to-day basis. host: out here in washington. they cannot be in washington because they have to be in the states. guest: exactly. and the bylaws are careful to make sure there is a very strict bipartisan cooperation. so the hollis is we come up with are almost always votes in which democrats and republicans and independents have weighed in, and they come up with what is agreed to for the policy. host: pam is a republican and montana are what are the top issues in your state? caller: well, right now we are
on fire. so our forests are our main issue. but we have an awful lot of pressure from environmentalists who think that if we laud our lumber, we are ruining it for future generations, when, in fact, managing the forest is saving it for future generations . because a burned-out forest is no good. along with that, we lose all of .ur wildlife i am glad to see governor bullock is on the board. hoping he is not swayed as much as been sometimes by outside influence. but we definitely need to -- we have now, because of our rules and regulations from environmentalists, we have to import lumber from canada, although we have millions and millions of acres right now that are burned up. but we have to import lumber from canada because we do not
have enough to run our mills, and we had very few mills left. in montana talks about the wildfires burning in montana and other western states. what are these western governors asking for from washington? are actually seeing an interesting type of activity going on right now, because i think there is good cooperation between western governors and the interior secretary, who is from montana, talking about how they can provide more variation and flexibility at the state level. montana may want to regulate differently than wyoming, so there's talk about certain parameters and certain desired results, but giving flexibility to the states to deal with the particular specific problems they may have, different types of natural phenomenon in their forests that may need to be treated to be
treated tivoli in montana than wyoming. host: robert in kentucky, republican. is robert.name i am from hazard, kentucky. i think the mayor in kentucky is doing a great job, basically wanting jobs to come into kentucky that take equal to what coal miners made, probably over $100,000 a year, and no jobs are coming back to kentucky that will pay that, and children are suffering now. we really need good jobs in kentucky. other than that, kentucky is a beautiful state, so come on in and enjoy kentucky. host: check out when the c-span bus will be in kentucky. go to c-span.org and find it there. attracting companies to go to states, states compete against each other for that. guest: the governor of kentucky is a great example of the type of governor we see right now,
very aggressive in saying our state is open for business and we want investment, not only from u.s. companies but worldwide companies. we want jobs in our state. you are seeing that. yes, governors compete. , think that is how it works but it is not a bad thing. kentucky can say that here are the benefits of putting jobs in my state. the governor of california can't say the same. saymexico, minnesota, just -- name all the states. -- the governor of california can say the same. the governors are cordial to each other or they will often tease each other when they're together talking about better for business, but it is a healthy competition that exists. host: beverly in missouri, democrat. in the state of missouri, our governor has cut over 8000 people, seniors and soabled people's money off,
you tell me how great of a governor the state of missouri has. when you go after seniors and disabled people. thet: i do not know specifics. there are so many things going on a different states. one thing that is going on right back-and-forth on the health care bill, and i assume that that is probably what the caller is talking about, the current programs in states to deal with health. part of the problem is that resources are limited in tough decisions have to be made about where to put this particular health care resources. standpoint,mistic governors are being fairly good about talking with congress and the administration about changes that can be made that make sure the people are receiving coverage that is defined as necessary for them. host: to alabama, lee,
independent caller. caller: yeah, i find it astounding that the governors have got an unelected bureaucrat running the national governors out of washington, d.c., where the swamp is. what is this character doing? i am going to call my own governor, which i am glad we have got this lady here in alabama that has got a lot of brains. i am going to find out what in the world we are mixed up in with these unelected bureaucrats out of the swamp. host: ok. lee's comments there in alabama. let's move on to arlington, virginia, independent. top issue in your state? caller: well, i am not sure what the top issue in my state is, but i wanted to talk about opioids. i just wanted -- it has to do
with health care. that when opioids stop working for a person, there ,s a lot of research neuroscience research that can be looked up, that says that it also has to do with mental health. it is often very hard, and my husband works for the federal government and we have federal government insurance, but it is awfully hard to get alternatives, innovative, new treatments for pain, and there is a mind-body connection. call was from arlington, virginia, opioid
addiction, one of the top issues governors are dealing with across the state. scott pattison, another issue i want to get your reaction to his tax reform, something that republicans, the president, would like to do before the end of the year. "wall street journal" editorial says congress can increase the progrowth running room by eliminating tax loopholes, and they say one of them would be repealing state and local tax than $1ns, more trillion over 10 years. how do you think states would react to that? guest: the governors definitely are talking with members of congress and the administration about tax reform. they understand the changes that increase the incentives for business to invest and create jobs is really important. but that being said, i think the state and local tax did actions are not well-understood from the standpoint that it does create does create money, but in effect, by double taxing
citizens, since the tax code started in 1913. it was understood in our federal system that the states do their taxes and the federal government do, ineirs, and we don't effect, double taxation. is other thing that understood is that to get rid of that is to actually increase the taxes of a lot of middle-class people, even in places like suburban dallas, new york. .ust about any state without the ability for that induction, there is not only the de facto double taxation, but the taxes of middle-class taxpayers will increase, particularly homeowners. feel strongly that if you need to find revenue for other parts of the tax code, that is not the place to go. time understanding
that we as a federal system don't get into each other's taxation systems. g8.orgst: you can go to and orglearn more -- go to nga. to learn more. host: we are marking the c-span bus's anniversary. former governors posting in the hundred 15th congress. c-span talked to a few of them and their experiences in both jobs. here is south dakota's governor from 2000 three to 2011, collected to senate in 2014. job has better hours? governor senator? >> they are ready similar in terms of the total number of hours you spend. but the hours working as governor are a lot more predictable and more productive. >> house so?
>> as a governor, you are expected to get results. systems are set up in such a fashion that you can get results. in south dakota, they expect us to get our legislation done in 40 days and nights. the legislative body leaves and goes home, and we live with the laws that we've made. governor, you are constantly working on new opportunities for economic development. you never know when you will have an emergency arise. -- thee the response to responsibility to respond to those emergencies in a timely fashion. in the senate, you do a lot of meetings, talked to a lot of people. frustration level we feel, because it is so onerous to get anything done at all, it makes you feel like you've worn yourself out. you've heard a lot of concerns
but you don't see results. >> was that a top transition? betweenhere was a time your time as governor and senator. >> any time you leave the greatest job in the world, working as the governor of the state, there is going to be a transition. somehow, there is this frustration in washington with andrest of the country, things move in a different pace here than they do in the rest of the country. there doesn't seem to be the expectation of responsibility for getting things done. in the rest of the country, everyone expects you to deliver results. whether you are working a job and delivering a product, or delivering a service. if you don't get something done in time, you say we did our best that it was somebody else's fault. a lot more excuses coming out of
washington and a lot of the reason we are not getting things done. same as infind the south dakota is that the people i work with are some of the nicest people in the world. they care about one another and their country. in a lot of cases, these people have never seen government work as efficiently at the federal level as it is expected to work in the state level. >> do they still call you governor? >> every day. i take it as a compliment. a number of us are former governors. we see things through probably do,erent shades than others but the fact that we want to get things done means it is more than former governors who get things -- who get frustrated. can i share one thought?
at the state level, we are expected by constitutional directive to balance our budget every year. in washington, that doesn't exist for a number of reasons. a whole 12ve appropriation bills you are supposed to do every year, and for the last 43 years, the laws have been in place -- that has only happened to four times in 43 years. even if we did all 12 appropriation bills, we still are only actually voting on 28% of what we are spending. that is nonsensical to me and to my fellow senators. >> how often are you working with -- on an issue, and what are you working on with him? >> our staffs talk back and fourth more than weekly, so we have a chance to work on a number of issues on a regular basis.
one of our first steps, dakota state university is now a center for cyber security. million of state funds in, and $30 million in private funds for a total of $40 million to dakota state university, and we are bringing in more opportunities for cyber security, both for the nsa and the department of defense. will bring additional federal dollars to a special program, beneficial not just of the nation, but to the folks who live in the madison, south dakota area. >> washington journal continues. host: welcome back. for then open phones remainder of today's washington journal, which will end at the top of the hour because the house is coming in early. we